Read: The War on Poverty: Was It Lost? Sandy Jencks reviews our friend Sheldon Danziger’s new book… with a cliff hanger to boot. A smart discussion, though a conundrum for the Left perhaps? Or proof that the programs do work, and are needed. Also makes a great case for a relative poverty measure—relative to what middle America earns.
Brutal poverty—perhaps one of the most moving pieces of research in years, “Meet Our Prisoners,” Bruce Western and team’s look at the path to prison, beginning with the brutality and chaos in future prisoners’ early lives. Leave it to the Marshall Project to capture it so well.
Chaos: It was just a crazy house, between my brothers coming in either beat up or having some horrible car accident…or someone falling asleep with a cigarette and a mattress going up on fire. It was a very traumatic house to live in.”…
Violence: Beginning at age 5, Patrick was regularly beaten by his mother’s boyfriends. He witnessed his uncle stab a man and helped him steal a car. As an adult, he recognized that his family life had been “emotionally cold” and “insane,” yet told the researchers that during childhood, the violence had seemed “normal” to him.
To be read alongside Debbie Gorman-Smith’s work in Chicago on youth and violence. On the South and West sides of Chicago, 55 percent of kids ages 5-8 are afraid to go outside and play because of the violence. By their teen years, 87 percent will have been exposed to some type of serious violence.
And speaking of education…Leon Botstein’s thought-provoking answer to the question put to our education system, Are We Still Making Citizens? The best explanation yet of why schools are a critical link in a democracy.
Watched: Finland explain why they’re changing their vaunted approach to education (less history and math; more history of math): “because the world is changing around the school” (meanwhile, back in the US….)
Why low interest rates might be the next gunk in the pipeline for housing. Social Impact Bonds move into health (I can’t resist). Bloomberg Philanthropies’ efforts to figure out what “innovation” means in city government—and codify it.
This: simply beautiful in its spare brevity: Solitude (I) by Tomas Tranströmer.
New! Excited to begin blogging for Institute for Housing Studies. Stay tuned.